The age of the Silicon Valley ‘moonshot’ is over

Big Tech’s cost-cutting and layoffs are another nail in the coffin for the industry’s most ambitious and costly projects
Thursday - 02/03/2023 18:32 Author: Editors Desk Source: The Washington Post

Eight years ago, Google’s founders split the company up into separate entities and named the collection Alphabet. The idea was to separate the core business — the company’s giant advertising machine that made it one of the most powerful corporations in the world — from the side projects that needed time to develop but could one day become Google’s next big moneymaker.

But that next big moneymaker hasn’t materialized. Revenue still comes overwhelmingly from advertising. Google has shuttered most of its so-called “moonshots” — from internet-delivering balloons to glucose-measuring contact lenses.

And even the most advanced of its side projects — self-driving car lab Waymo and health-care tech start-up Verily — are now confined by the limits of regular businesses. On Wednesday, Waymo laid off 8 percent of its workforce, adding to a previous round of cuts in January.

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